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Lake City nurse loses battle with COVID-19

James White, pictured with sister Allison Williams, died after contracting COVID-19.
James White, pictured with sister Allison Williams, died after contracting COVID-19.((Screenshot via Facebook))
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 3:06 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WJXT) - A 27-year-old Lake City nurse has lost his battle with COVID-19 after a weeks long battle.

James White was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus weeks ago

“He spent his last days caring for patients and putting his life on the line,” said James White’s sister, Allison Williams. “Being on the front lines and his main concern was doing right by his patients.”

White was a nurse at the Lake City VA medical center, and it’s there where his family believes White contracted the virus.

His family says he was diagnosed with COVID 19 several weeks ago – and had begun quarantining at home .When his oxygen levels dropped to 62%, he was transferred to West Marion Hospital – where White’s father said things got worse.

“We stayed in contact with him all week and it was harder and harder to get responses out of him,’ said White’s father, David White. ”Next thing we know – we got a call Sunday that he coded and had a heart attack and for 20 mins they were trying to get him back. We waited for better news. But every phone call, was sadder and sadder news.

“Jimmy just continued to have heart attacks. They tried to bring him back and then finally they couldn’t.”

Days after his passing his family is in disbelief that their son, who is still in his 20s, could die from the virus.

“He was way too young. And every doctor and nurse that we spoke to said the same: this shouldn’t be happening,” said Allison.

“It’s devastating and to me it’s going to be a long process to deal with the loss of my son,” added David.

One thing abundantly clear to this family: the emotional and and physical toll COVID-19 is having on healthcare workers just like James.

“He went in everyday and did his duty, did what he had to do,” said David.

“He had a very caring heart for others,” said Stepmom Mary White.

“Really. just to all the nurses and medical staff that are caring and empathetic,” said Allison. “They really care. And that’s what my brother chose to do with his life – was to care for others. That takes a very special human being to do that. I just want to say thank you.”

The funeral will be streamed LIVE for Jimmy on Gateway-Forest Lawn Funeral Home Facebook page on Aug. 22 at 2 p.m..

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